August 10, 2022

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Review: ‘Found! One Soul Singer’ Sonny Green


Found! One Soul Singer’ Sonny Green album cover

Sonny Green

By Martine Ehrenclou

Every once in a while you come across a singer who has “it.” This is Sonny Green, an outstanding one-of-a-kind soul/blues vocalist who’s been performing for 40 years to devoted fans in Los Angeles clubs. Kid Andersen plucked Green from obscurity and produced, recorded, and mastered Found! One Soul Singer at his Greaseland Studio, pulling together just the right songs and musicians for a great album, released by Little Village Foundation.

Found! One Soul Singer is a modern-day soul blues, funky album by Sonny Green, who is very much the real deal. The album is rich with sparking tunes, superb musicianship and production, and one amazing vocalist. This is Green’s debut album after releasing a handful of 45s in the 60s and 70s. It’s a success story if I ever heard one. And when you hear the album, you’ll think so too.

With outstanding musicians to back up Green, including Jim Pugh (Hammond B-3), Chris Burns (clavinet, piano) Kid Andersen (guitar) a full horn section with Sax Gordon and Terry Hanck, and vocalist Alabama Mike, Green holds court on the 11 tracks, a mix of covers and originals. Found! One Soul Singer should be on every 2021 playlist. This isn’t just soul blues. This is tasty funky soul music by origina vocalist Sonny Green.

The album kicks off with “I’m So Tired” (Bobby Blue Bland) with an infectious groove, punchy, smooth horns and perfect organ fills. Green steers you onto the dance floor, inserting his personality into the song, serving up a soulful goodbye to someone who’s better off gone. A delightful and expert organ solo adds to this funky soul number with a contemporary feel.

Following up the opening number is “If Walls Could Talk” another killer groove with Sonny wrapping his signature gritty, soulful vocals around this Little Milton tune. Think hints of Buddy guy, Bobby Rush and a touch of James Brown. Green’s experience as a vocalist and entertainer are all over this tune and the rest of the tracks, his vocals effortless in between stellar guitar riffs, sax and organ.

Singers like Sonny Green make you feel like there’s nothing between them and the song. He grabs it, makes it his own, and probably records it in one take. That’s how good he is. You can hear this music running through his veins.

A bluesy tune, “I Beg Your Pardon” enters the mix with Green working his magic on this Rick Estrin tune recorded with the Nightcats. Green is all spunk, grit and sass—-Mr. Personality on vocals, something that will make you want to see him live. Green is a real pro, inserting “Ha ha ha” before the line “I know I’m out of line.”

Jim Pugh’s California Roots label and Kid Andersen found a true talent in Green and put together a stellar rhythm section that whips this music into a fun, lighthearted collection. Green deserves the best and he got it.

Green lets out a growling “Heeey” to open “Cupid Must Be Stupid,” another standout groove tune, followed by “You’d better listen,” a mark of some of the greats like James Brown. It’s totally authentic here. Green kills it on this track, and not everyone could pull it off. You’ve got superb guitar, organ, horns and drums—one of the tightest rhythm sections around. A master with rhythm, Green sings it right on time. “You got it twisted Baby” he sings, in between organ fills and then “I got to tell ya again. Cupid must be stupid..ha ha.” The song is old school goodness, fun, upbeat, and a shoo-in to soothe your weary soul. The horns punch and whine, followed by a smooth and stunning sax solo, and then blistering trumpet. Turn it up.

More funky greatness with the Alabama Mike original, “Trouble,” a duet with Green and Alabama Mike. Mike’s voice blends beautifully with Green’s, and they do a call and answer of sorts, a blessed combination. The guitar solo is spectacular—you’d expect nothing less from Kid Andersen. Again, this is lighthearted, fun, and you can envision the packed dance floor when this song is performed live.

I look forward to the next release from the Sonny Green. In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy Found! One Soul Singer. Highly recommended.

 
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